On June 20th, BRIsat was launched by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana. The satellite of Indonesia's second-largest bank by assets, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, foreshadows a new era for the digital banking industry.
BRIsat is the first satellite that is owned and operated directly by a bank, as banks usually simply rent satellite services from telecommunications firms. BRIsat is estimated to have a 17-year lifespan and will be positioned in an orbit above Papua. Clients of the bank will therefore be offered free WiFi to enhance and facilitate communication, video banking and financial transactions. It will also cut BRI's operational costs for the communication network, make banking services available in remote areas of Indonesia and will allow the bank to develop of digital banking services in the years to come.